The distance between the start and the finish is 25 km as the crow flies. According to statistics, the average swim distance is 26.5 km (due to wind and waves).
KotlinRace is held from June to September inclusive. In June and September, the water temperature is 14-17 degrees. From the second half of July to the end of August, this figure can reach 17-20 degrees, sometimes the water warms up to 21-23 degrees. But in terms of weather, the region is complex and unpredictable. In July, it may snow (as it was in 2017) or the surface of water can warm up to 28 degrees (as happened in 2018).
During the first 3 km of the swim, the flow of the Neva helps, and the speed of swimmers can increase by 1- 2 km / h. The water is usually calm, but its temperature is 2-3 degrees lower than near the bay, since the Neva flows out of the cold Ladoga Lake. Further, after moving from the mouth of the river to the bay, a lot depends on the wind. The direction and force of the wind determine the direction of the flow and waves, and therefore swimming conditions. It happens that the wind blows at the back and decreases the swimmers' speed, and sometimes there is a side or head wind. Weather conditions for the swim are assessed by the organizers using forecasts from several sources and reported to swimmers on the eve of the start.
The organizers select suitable weather for swimmers, depending on their level. The organizers have long-term experience in organizing this particular swim, so they know exactly what they are doing. If you hear the command about changing the time of the start in good weather, it means that in the next few hours the weather is going to get much worse, and, with your level of training, the organizers cannot guarantee a successful finish. Trust the organizers, wait for the "start" command.
There can also be such a weather, in which no swims are held, yachts do not go out to the bay, and normal people do not go outside. In this case, you will have to wait for the weather to get better, which may take several days, or, on the contrary, shift the start a few days ahead until the storm has come. Dear non-resident participants! Mind that the swim may take a few days. Dear participants from Petersburg! Get ready to ask for a day off at work. It is better to enjoy pleasant eight-hour swim in good weather than to suffer for 12 hours in bad weather.
According to weather conditions, the swim can begin (and end) at any time. The organizers want to start swimming after breakfast and finish by dinner, just like you want. Instead, the beginning may take place at lunchtime, and you will have reached the Kronshtadt beach only by 2 a.m. If this happened, believe that it was better for you. By evening, the wind and the waves usually subside, and if your level of training is medium or lower, it is better to finish swimming in calm water, even at night. Security first and foremost, and the organizers are pursuing your interests only as the second priority.